EU employment ministers working overnight on Monday reached a long-debated agreement on rules concerning working time and temporary workers, said council chairwoman Marjeta Cotman, the Slovenian minister for labour and familiy and social affairs.
The agreement came after the 27 voting members established a qualifying majority for approval of the new measures that will impact millions of European workers and employers.
The average maximum number of hours worked per week after the compromise settlement under the direction of the Slovenian council president is about 48 hours with some exceptions in individual industries where up to 60 or 65 hours is possible.
By means of tariff agreements the maximum limit can be still exceeded. Since 2002 guidelines for contract work was negotiated together with work time. For the first time temporary workers from the first working day will have the same rights as regular employees in the same enterprise. Agreements between the social partners are subject to possible exceptions. The two guidelines must be formally approved by the European parliament.